Acne vulgaris is one of the most prominent skin conditions that affects us today. Its main cause involves the blockage and swelling of the hair follicles in our faces. Acne has the ability to appear as simple non-porous lesions, or lesions that produce swelling, but there is the chance for both to occur. Acne usually has the propensity to occur mainly on the face but can also happen in the chest or back area, depending on ones’ genetics and skin complexion.
Acne can usually be diagnosed by visually confirming the following characteristics:
- Non-inflammatory, open or close comedones
- Inflammatory papules
- The aforementioned with a white pus
The reason we see Acne on the face, chest, or back, is because those are the areas with the highest density of sebaceous glands and follicles. Acute symptoms of acne can also include pain, tenderness of the affected area and erythema.
Systemic symptoms, or more severe symptoms are mostly non-existent with acne vulgaris. The worst acne associated with symptoms such as fever or cold sweats is referred to as acne fulminans (instead of acne vulgaris). If you see or notice acne with multiple comedones without all the other associated symptoms like fever, that is referred to as acne conglobata. Regardless, acne, no matter the severity may have psychological effects on the patient.
A few ways to help reduce acne on your skin without having to visit the dermatologist are:
- Zinc, add more to your diet
As it turns out a zinc deficiency is a possible risk factor for acne. Some of the symptoms of zinc deficiency include: spots on fingernails, drier skin, hangnails, colds, and the loss of hair, diarrhea, low sex drive and acne. Taking zinc supplements or eating foods that have a high content of zinc like oysters, beef, spinach, and pumpkin seeds could help your acne or at least alleviate some of the symptoms.
- Stop Sugar and Refined Food Products
A diet high in sugar causes over production of insulin which wreaks havoc on your hormones and aggravates acne. Refined grains such as white flour, create a rise in the glycemic index and produces a similar effect as sugar so if you want healthy skin, you might want to consider passing on the sugar and white bread.
- Introduce Probiotics and Omega 3’s to your Diet
Making sure to have enough Omega-3s in your diet can also decrease the amount of inflammation that occurs because of acne. Omega-3s have been shown in the literature to be a gatekeeper of leukotriene, a molecule that has a profound effect in the increase of sebum the face produces which is ultimately the cause of the most common form of inflammatory acne. Natural sources of omega-3 include walnuts, avocados, flaxseed, chia, and fish. Probiotics help to maintain the flora in your digestive system which leads to a happy and healthy gut which can result in healthy skin.
If the aforementioned ways to clean your skin fail the next best course of action would be to visit the dermatologist where you can be seen by a professional who can guide you to the next best course of action.